Carinthia is one of the Austrian federal states that has gained popularity among tourists and expats in recent years.
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Buying property in the federal state of Carinthia

Carinthia is one of the Austrian federal states that has gained popularity among tourists and expats in recent years. It is known for its forests, mountains and freshwater lakes including the famous Wörthersee, as well as its wide range of museums and art festivals. It's also the best place to practice sports due to the beautiful mountain ski resorts in the area.

Due to the pandemic, more and more people are interested in living away from the city, which has led to the high demand for villas and townhouses. Therefore, obtaining a property in Carinthia might well be a good investment. This article will help you learn more about Carinthia and about the benefits of investing in this region of Austria.


Carinthia is the southernmost Austrian federal state. It’s the fifth largest federal province in the country that is divided into eight rural districts including Feldkirchen, Hermagor, Klagenfurt-Land, Spittal an der Drau, Sankt Veit an der Glan, Villach-Land, Völkermarkt and Wolfsberg and has 132 municipalities. The capital of Carinthia is Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, the sixth-largest city in Austria that attracts students due to the University of Klagenfurt, the Gustav Mahler University of Music and the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences. The second statutory city is Villach.
The region borders the states of Salzburg, Styria and East Tyrol, and the Carnic Alps and the Karawanks form a border with Italy and Slovenia. The drive from Klagenfurt am Wörthersee to Venice will take about 4 hours while the road to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana can be reached in just 1.5 hours.
Among the most well-known 1,270 lakes are Wörthersee (Lake Wörth), Millstätter See (Lake Millstatt), Ossiacher See (Lake Ossiach) and Faaker See (Lake Faak). Visitors can also find 43 glaciers and 60 healing springs in Carinthia. Around 57.6% of the federal state is covered by forests and the fauna of Carinthia has accounted for more than 150,000 animal species, with around 150 of them, endemic. Some examples are the Carinthian door snail and the Carinthian mountain cricket.
Carinthia has a humid continental climate and the highest average number of sunshine hours. In the summer, temperatures are around 20-25°C. Winters may seem cold, but they are ideal for winter sports and can range anywhere from -6°C to 25°C but rarely below -13°C or above 30°C. Autumn and winter are usually characterized by fog, as it envelops the valleys, mountains and lakes, giving the scenery a mysterious appeal.


Carinthia is full of museums and interesting sights that can be found both in the capital of the state and other towns across the region.
One of the most popular museums both among children and adults is Minimundus, located in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. Here you can find 160 models of buildings from all over the world such as Sagrada Familia, the Parthenon, the Sydney Opera House, the Statue of Liberty, the Tower Bridge, the Taj Mahal and much more.
Klagenfurt Cinema Museum
You can learn more about the history of cinema in the Klagenfurt Cinema Museum (Klagenfurt Kinomuseum) which is open over the summer months. However, groups can visit the museum all year round. In the venue, you can learn the history of all the cinemas in Klagenfurt by looking at newspaper cuttings, pictures and artifacts including the box office that was used to sell tickets of the first-ever movie shown in the city.

If you want to feel the medieval atmosphere, you might be interested in visiting the fortress of Hochosterwitz (Burg Hochosterwitz) located in Eastern Carinthia. This fortress is supposed to be the inspiration behind the castle from “Sleeping Beauty”. The fortress was built in the 16th century as a defense from the Turks. At the top of the fortress of Hochosterwitz, there is also a cafe where tourists can have coffee and snacks.
Pyramidenkogel Tower
Pyramidenkogel Tower (Aussichtsturm Pyramidenkogel) is the highest wooden tower in the world at 100 m tall. There are three viewing platforms and the highest one is located at 71 m.
Pilgrimage Church
Those interested in church architecture will definitely like the Pilgrimage Church located in Maria Saal, which can be reached from Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in just a 15-minute drive. The church that combines Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque styles was built in the 15th century from volcanic stone.
Carinthia also has 100 acres of parks teeming with rails, ski jumps and creative lines, as well as 24 ski regions and more than 800 kilometers of trails. Some of them include:
  • Mount Snow, which is an ideal place for those who like skiing and snowboarding, and is perfect for both beginners and professional sportsmen. A Grommet is an ideal option for children and those who are just learning to ski, while Inferno is great for experienced skiers.
  • Nature, Biosphere & National Parks are ideal for hiking and group excursions.
  • If you want to try a snowshoe walk through winter landscapes, you should visit the Hohe Tauern, which is the largest hiking territory in the Eastern Alps.
  • Those wishing to experience ice skating will be amazed by the 25 km course around the Weissensee.
  • One of the most well-known trails in the region is the Alpe Adria Trail that connects Carinthia, Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.


Austria is known for religious freedom. About 75% of Austrians are Roman Catholics, but here you will also find people with many other religious faiths, including Protestants, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, etc. Residents of Carinthia like attending concerts, the theater and museums, as well as taking long walks among the beautiful surroundings.

Nowadays Carinthia plays host to various events. If you prefer opera and plays you might want to visit the Stadttheater Klagenfurt. The wooden building was built in the first decade of the 17th century, where Italian troops going from Venice to Vienna once appeared here. In 1811 the stone theater, now known as the Old Theater was built in its place. The current building was established in 1910. Famous artists such as Martin Kušej, Bernd Liepold-Mosser, Michael Schottenberg and others have worked and performed here.
The annual three-day reading marathon of Ingeborg Bachmann Prize takes place in Klagenfurt and is well-known outside of Austria. Among the most famous Carinthian writers are Peter Handke, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2019, as well as Peter Turrini, Maja Haderlap and Gert Jonke.
One of the most famous festivals is the Carinthian Summer Music Festival (Carinthischer Sommer), which was founded in 1969 and has become one of the most prestigious music festivals in the country. It takes place on the shores of Lake Ossiach and in Villach and attracts artists from all over the world every summer. A church opera has also become a part of the music festival programme since 1974.


The leading economic sectors of Carinthia are IT, the manufacturing industry and tourism. It’s a popular export market whose trading partners are not only the closest Germany and Italy, but also China and the USA.
Carinthia is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations after Tyrol, Salzburg and Vienna. Tourism and leisure make up 15% of the GDP, and Carinthia has more campgrounds than any other Austrian state.
Technology is one of the most developing fields in Carinthia, as around 3% of GDP is spent on technology research. Among the most popular and well known companies in Carinthian are Infineon Technologies Austria, Kapsch TrafficCom and Flex. Located close to the University of Klagenfurt, the largest technology park named Lakeside Science & Technology Park can be found here.

One of the main reasons why foreigners think about moving to Carinthia is the great variety of educational and career opportunities here. Here one can learn technology, management, languages and much more. It is also an ideal place to start a business. The non-profit Carinthian Economic Promotion Fund and the Carinthian Chamber of Commerce provide funding tools for small and medium businesses, as well as promoting projects, creating jobs and much more.

N.B. Before moving to Austria, it’s advisable to learn more about the tax system of the country. To estimate the percentage of income you have to pay, you can use the Austrian Tax Ministry special calculator.

Property Prices

Apartments are popular among those living in cities and towns, while those wishing to be close to nature prefer to buy or rent villas and townhouses. Property prices in Carinthia are considered to be moderate. The average price of a 50 sq.m unit in Carinthia is EUR 200,000.
As of the end of January 2022, the average cost per sq.m. in Carinthia is EUR 4,114, with most apartment properties having an average living area ranging from 51 sqm to 80 sqm. When considering the option of buying a house of up to 125 sqm, the most moderate purchase prices can be found in Sankt Veit an der Glan at EUR 4,120 per sqm, while in Wolfsberg the most expensive price per square meter for the same house will cost EUR 6,092 per sqm. The one and only exception is Klagenfurt-Land which has higher prices due to premium properties around Wörthersee. The average price of freehold apartments in Klagenfurt-Land is approximately EUR 5,000 for sqm.

In Klagenfurt am Wörthersee apartments are in high demand, and with the significantly growing number of residents, inner-city areas are now developing. However, the majority of locals and expats prefer living in the city center. The average price of an apartment in the capital of the state is EUR 2,800 per sqm.
As of January 2022, the rental price of apartments in Carinthia is as follows: EUR 13.26/sqm for studio rentals up to 50 sqm, EUR 10.94/sqm for apartments between 51 and 80 sqm and EUR 13.69/sqm for apartments between 81 and 129 sqm. The ROI varies from 3% to 6%.

N.B. You can read about how to obtain a residence permit in Austria for investment in this article.

Why is Carinthia an Ideal Place for Making an Investment?

Carinthia is one of the developing federal states in Austria and is strategically located between Vienna and Venice. Carinthia has the following features that make this area attractive to buyers and investors:

Encompasses national and international events such as concerts and festivals.
Developed economic sectors by international trade and the creation of funding and supporting programmes for start-up companies.
The region boasts research-intensive universities that attract foreign students, scientists and professors.
It gives visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy unspoiled nature and a convenient climate.
Offers a great number of ski mountain resorts that are ideal for beginners and professionals.
Traditionally, the real estate market in Austria is characterized by stability and a high return on investment, thanks to the development of tourism and real estate rentals.
In addition, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, many foreigners are looking at buying a private home with a plot of land, surrounded by picturesque natural scenery, and in this case Carinthia is the best choice.

As for the process of buying and selling real estate in Austria, it is quite simple, but some foreign nationals, especially from non-EU countries, may encounter some difficulties, like obtaining permits or encountering restrictions on the purchase of a real estate in some provinces. Therefore, seeking the help of a professional broker will not only save you time and effort but also help you find the best property option.

How we can help?

The brokerage agency, Luxury Immobile GmbH can offer you a full range of services in the field of real estate for both life and investment. This includes legal support and assistance with mortgages, finding the right property, and preparing all the necessary documents for the conclusion of the purchase of residential and commercial property in Carinthia, or any other federal district of Austria.
You can also get comprehensive advice on the Austrian real estate market from our real estate experts.

If you are interested in renting a property, our experts are ready to provide you with a comprehensive list of properties that will fit your agreed budget, taking into account your location preferences, as well as taking care of drawing up a lease agreement under Austrian law, and all responsibilities in paying all fees and contributions, where your presence is not required.
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Evgeny Pilnikov,
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